Summary Report for:
15-1199.01 - Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers
Develop and execute software test plans in order to identify software problems and their causes.
Sample of reported job titles: Product Assurance Engineer, Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst), Quality Assurance Director (QA Director), Software Quality Assurance Engineer (SQA Engineer), Software Quality Engineer, Software Test Engineer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings
- Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures.
- Test system modifications to prepare for implementation.
- Develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.
- Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers.
- Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.
- Monitor bug resolution efforts and track successes.
- Create or maintain databases of known test defects.
- Plan test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates.
- Participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.
- Review software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks.
- Document test procedures to ensure replicability and compliance with standards.
- Develop or specify standards, methods, or procedures to determine product quality or release readiness.
- Update automated test scripts to ensure currency.
- Investigate customer problems referred by technical support.
- Install, maintain, or use software testing programs.
- Provide feedback and recommendations to developers on software usability and functionality.
- Monitor program performance to ensure efficient and problem-free operations.
- Conduct software compatibility tests with programs, hardware, operating systems, or network environments.
- Install and configure recreations of software production environments to allow testing of software performance.
- Collaborate with field staff or customers to evaluate or diagnose problems and recommend possible solutions.
- Identify program deviance from standards, and suggest modifications to ensure compliance.
- Design or develop automated testing tools.
- Coordinate user or third party testing.
- Perform initial debugging procedures by reviewing configuration files, logs, or code pieces to determine breakdown source.
- Visit beta testing sites to evaluate software performance.
- Evaluate or recommend software for testing or bug tracking.
- Conduct historical analyses of test results.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Computer servers — Application servers
- Desktop computers
- Integrated circuit testers — In circuit emulators ICE; Logic analyzers
- Mainframe computers — Mainframe operating systems; Supercomputers
- Network routers — Computer network routers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Application server software — JBoss Application Server; VMWare ESX Server
- Charting software — Microsoft Office Visio
- Configuration management software — IBM Rational ClearCase; Revision control software
- Content workflow software — Twiki *; Workflow software
- Data base management system software — Microsoft SQL Server; MySQL software; Oracle software
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access; Structured query language SQL
- Development environment software — Apache Ant; C; JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA; Microsoft Visual Basic (see all 13 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Email software; IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Exchange
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML; IBM WebSphere
- Internet browser software — Apple Safari; Microsoft Internet Explorer *; Mozilla Firefox *; Web browser software
- Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Firewall software; Network intrusion detection software
- Object or component oriented development software — Acresso InstallAnywhere; Apple Cocoa; C++; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl (see all 8 examples)
- Operating system software — Linux; Microsoft Windows; VMWare Workstation; Wind River Systems VxWorks (see all 7 examples)
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Program testing software — Bugzilla *; JUnit; TestNG; YourKit Java Profiler (see all 18 examples)
- Project management software — Atlassian JIRA; Microsoft Project; Microsoft Team Foundation Server
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Unified modeling language UML
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Transaction security and virus protection software — Anti-spyware software; Antivirus software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Detailed Work Activities
- Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
- Develop testing routines or procedures.
- Develop performance metrics or standards related to information technology.
- Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
- Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies.
- Document operational activities.
- Develop detailed project plans.
- Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation.
- Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
- Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
- Create databases to store electronic data.
- Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
- Test software performance.
- Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems.
- Install computer software.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
- Read documents to gather technical information.
- Document design or development procedures.
- Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.
- Provide customer service to clients or users.
- Electronic Mail — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 61% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 39% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 61% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Letters and Memos — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 48% responded “Important results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 48% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Level of Competition — 55% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: ICR
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Employment data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Industry data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
|Median wages (2014)||$40.10 hourly, $83,410 annual|
|Employment (2012)||206,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||40,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.